Works for Me Wednesday: My Personal Salad Bar

March 21, 2007 @ 9:59 am | Filed under: ,

It’s been almost two years since I had the brainstorm that dramatically improved my eating habits…for a while. A long while, a year at least. But somewhere along the line, I let the habit slip, and then I forgot all about it.

Time to start over. Here’s the idea: I keep a plastic bin full of yummy salad fixings in my refrigerator.

Boom, one-stop shopping. It’s right there at eye level on the
fridge shelf, where I can’t avoid seeing it. Big bag of prewashed
spinach sitting on top. In the bin are all the little baggies and
plastic containers that I was finding it such a burden to collect from
various points in the pantry and refrigerator. Pine nuts, sunflower
seeds, almonds, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, real bleu
cheese…mmm, just cutting-and-pasting this list from above makes me
hungry. (They don’t all make it into every salad, of course, just a
random selection. Otherwise there’d be no room for the veggies, which
are, of course, the whole point.)

Also in the bin: sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, chopped
carrots. OK, so it’s not a perfect system: I still have to prep the
veggies. But (another duh moment) I’m doing it once or twice a week, at
night after the kids are in bed. Then in the middle of my busy day, I
can scoop a handful of diced peppers out of a baggie and throw it on my
beeyootiful salad. I know, lots of people have thought of this before
me. I don’t claim to be innovative. Except possibly in the matter of
sticking it all in a bin together so all I have to do is pull the bin
out of the fridge and mix-and-match until I’ve got a bowlful.

You can read more about the idea in my original post, but the gist is pretty simple. During the year I was sticking with it, I really did eat a nice big salad pretty much every day because that darn bin was staring me in the face every time I opened the fridge, with the blue cheese crumbles and toasted almonds right on top. Yum.

Rachael Ray makes a quick and easy vinaigrette out of orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.  Delish, as she says. Or try raspberry preserves in place of the marmalade: oh my goodness is that tasty. I know what I’m having for lunch.

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12 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    Kai says:

    I SO need to start doing this. I always see people at work with these yummy salads they brought from home and I always how they had the time in the morning to put them together. Great tip!!

  2. Avatar

    Tater and Tot says:

    WOW – now I’m hungry! And what a better time to start loving salads again than when the veggies are the freshest! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Avatar

    Theresa says:

    I have long thought of doing this, but never got around to *actually* doing it. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Avatar

    mira says:

    Great idea! And thanks for the dressing tip too.

  5. Avatar

    Debbie says:

    This idea has been spinning around in my head for some time now. Since I have seen it posted in black and white in front of me, I have got to *just* do it! Thanks!

  6. Avatar

    Rae says:

    Great idea, I love the thought of this. Thanks for sharing! =)

  7. Avatar

    Kathleen says:

    I was just speaking to my father tonight about our intent to begin eating healthier (on a regular basis with our respective families) as the warmer weather gradually arrives here. A pre-prepped, salad bin is a terrific inspiration to begin with! Thanks! P.S. I’ve had salads on my mind since seeing Martha Stewart profile “Just Salads” (in NYC) on her show last week.

  8. Avatar

    Andrea says:

    Don’t forget the hard boiled eggs! No spinach salad is complete!!!

  9. Avatar

    J says:

    Whoa . . . versatility . . . I think you’re on to something. The same box can also be used for omelet fillings and pita/wrap fillings. If you mix a few of these with a good whole milk yogurt, you’ve got emergency tea sandwich fillings. If you stir fry the veggies, add noodles and few other toppings and either Asian or Italian seasonings, you’d have veggie chow mien or pasta primavera minus the cream sauce. Then there’s the baked potato possibilities. You could also use the box to make a quick relish to dress up the more disgusting tasting veggies or to top chicken or fish that you’d serve on said spinach.

  10. Avatar

    xixi says:

    you know what I splurged on? I went to smart & final and bought deli containers and little cups with lids on them – because what was keeping me from healthy lunches on the go was this: I got tired of packing a salad for lunch and then having to tote around the empty gross tupperware for the rest of the day – so now, I pack a salad in the deli container with dressing in the cup on the side (my current jag is spinach, sliced apples, candied pecans, bleu cheese and grilled chicken) and just throw the container away when I am done.

    Um… in other news… the containers are also the right size for a few cupcakes.

  11. Avatar

    Lisa says:

    Oh…I miss your salad bin and mostly eating those yummy salads in your delightful company!

  12. Avatar

    Haley says:

    Does anyone know the proportions of the marmalade vinaigrette? It sounds delicious!